tv CBS 5 Eyewitness News at Noon CBS February 17, 2011 12:00pm-12:30pm PST
bay area now. the one in napa valley just coming down but you can see heavy rainfall. heavy rain showing up in many spots this morning. we have a flash flood warning continuing in petaluma at willowbrook creek area. there we are expecting flooding at old redwood highway bridge and willowbrook at stoney road. urban and small stream flood advisories until 3:00 this afternoon. we'll see more showers with the possibility of more thunderstorms. we'll try and sort it out coming up. it is not just the heavy rain but some high tides, too. already, one parking lot is closed due to flooding and more could follow. christin ayers reports. there you are. you wiped the water off your lens, didn't you? >> reporter: we have been
trying. it's a futile effort at this point. you can see some of the driving rain coming down over here and behind me, the choppy and mostly empty waters here in sausalito. the tide is unusually hide over 6.5 feet right now. the waves are coming in up to 16 feet. in marin county this morning, flooding was a big problem. caltrans was forced to shut down. the manzanita park and ride where highways 1 and 101 meet was closed due flooding. cars inched through the flooded street. we saw signs all over warning of flooding in the area and urging commuters to try and park somewhere else. elsewhere, it was snow that was impairing drivers. our cameras caught snowfall on mount saint helena. there and as of a highway closure from calistoga to middletown. the rain and winds are the problem. people who are coming out to the water or going to be near the water today, they seem to be doing pretty well staying
away from it today. but again, those high waves are truly going to be factors today anywhere from 13 feet to 16 feet. so definitely want to keep an eye out for that frank. >> okay, stay dry out there. the storm also causing problems traveling today. right now, there are two-hour delays at sfo. there's also several thousand power outages all around the bay area mainly in the south bay. just a short time ago a major outage was reported in northern san jose impacting 3800 customers. crews are work fast to restore that power to those that are affected. the bay bridge construction project is moving along quite nicely. in fact, it's ahead of schedule. soon drivers will have to deal with new traffic lanes and detours but as anne makovec tells us, the bridge could be completed several months earlier than expected. anne, tell us more about this good news. >> reporter: that's right. and both directions are going to be open at one time. the original plan was to open first the eastbound side and then the westbound side. but both sides are going to be
open in september of 2013 if all goes as planned. giving you the big picture, you can see it here behind me, it's of a very wet bay bridge this afternoon. construction has been going on for a couple of years. and it looks like we have a couple of more. but again, things are progressing. still a lot of work to be done, though. the old bridge right now is in the way of the new bridge. so it's been built about as far as it can be. caltrans is now going to have to start rerouteing traffic so crews can continue to build the new eastern span. now, take a look at this animation. this is what drivers are going to notice next. a detour for eastbound lanes over to the side of the old bridge veering to the south. crews are working on this detour right now and it should be driveable by the end of may. here's a caltrain spokesman giving us another perspective of the next phase. >> you can see this big bus driving ton right now? we are going to be moving that bus and all the traffic to the
south so that a construction crew can come in here and finish this. >> reporter: it's a big job? >> it is a big job. it means surgical removal of a big chunk of this structure with traffic on it. >> reporter: we were actually on that new span of the bay bridge today. they gave us a special tour for the media. it's looking good. of course the weather was not quite right for something like that. caltrans says they are ahead of schedule because the building of the anchor tower went so quickly and smoothly that they have secured a good deal with the contractor for the final phases of construction so it's not usually the case we can report good news on a construction project. we'll have the short-term pain when it comes to the detours. next thing will be changes on the eastbound side around may of this year. >> all right. but some encouraging news. anne, thank you very much. anne makovec on yerba buena island trying to stay dry out
there. yeah. that's a tough chore right now. coming up, a top drug cop on the other side of the law. how he is accused of profiting from his bus and why he is being kept in solitary confinement. and president obama on his way to the bay area to meet with silicon valley "a" listers. a sneak peek at the guest list. ,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
an east bay narcotics agent now in isolation for his protection after being arrested on drug charges. 49-year-old norman wielsch is commander of a narcotics enforcement team in contra costa county. he is accused of stealing and selling confiscated drugs. his lawyer says he is in isolation for fear that other criminals may hurt him. >> it's very difficult time for him. i mean, you can imagine allegations like this are devastating, especially to an officer that's had such a stellar career. >> bail for wielsch has been set at $660,000. a friend of his is also under arrest. president obama will visit the bay area a little later today. air force one expected to land at sfo just before 6:00. the president will attend a private dinner in san francisco with business and technology leaders. the group is expected to discuss the president's tech agenda as well as jobs, education and innovation. the white house has not yet
released the official guest list but it is said to include mark zuckerberg as well as executives from silicon valley giants like cisco system, intel and google. there are reports that steven jobs will be among tonight's guest. this comes amid intense speculation about his health. there are reports he has been seen at the stanford cancer center. jobs beat pancreatic cancer 7 years ago and late her a liver transplant -- later had a liver transplant. right now he is on medical leave from apple. a new study shows smartmeter emission are much more powerful than originally thought. that report from sage associates an environmental consulting firm predicts significantly higher radiofrequency radiation levels. they say some smartmeters may also violate fcc public safety standards. pg&e isn't commenting but the utility has said it's scientifically proven that smartmeters are safe. if you spend enough time outdoors, it's something you
might want to think about. >> it's a chronic disease. and nobody was treating it except just a couple of doctors. >> how one woman is fighting the disease that's literally crawling all over california. and while we are getting rain, more snow is falling in the sierra. lots of it! when we could see the grand finale. staying inside might be good today. we continue to see heavy rain pounding parts of the bay area. how long will it last? we'll talk about that coming up. ,, 3q
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air force on g andrews force base right n that is president obama on his way to the bay area. air force one is going to leave andrews air force base in just a few minutes. he hasn't stepped off the helicopter yet. but as you can see, they have a lot of sunshine there. they are enjoying the weather we had a couple of weeks ago. but again, the president scheduled to land at sfo just before 6:00. a little different weather here because of course we know -- >> here we go. >> oh, there's the president just stepping out. he will be here around 6:00 tonight. winter has returned and let's talk about the president, shall we? there he is right there getting ready to board air force one. i believe he is at andrews air force base out on the east
coast and in short order will board that plane and wing his way to talk to a number of high- tech folks out here in the bay area to sell his budget plan and such. >> this is a private dinner again in san francisco. it's going to be with business and technology leaders. they are going to discuss the president's tech agenda, but they are going to obviously discuss other things jobs, he had case, innovation. we don't have an official guest list. but it will probably include paul otellini, the who's who of the business world. the president will be here in short order. as we said, get in store for some different weather because winter is packin a pun -- is
packing a punch. it wasn't just the high country getting the snow. some spots in the lower elevation got a few inches of snow this morning. nick janes with a look at the conditions in el dorado county. >> reporter: we are at 3,000 feet at highway 50. the snow is falling and there is some on the ground. there have been reports of snow falling even lower than this. it has been coming down all day long and shows no sign of stopping. for the second straight day, more than a dozen schools in el dorado county delayed the start of class or closed altogether. [ beep beep ] >> reporter: the plows were out in pollock pines clearing the way in the safeway parking lot. many of the cars and trucks were covered with heaps of snow. several inches fell here around 3900 feet, with plenty more on the way. for don hall, it's the perfect chance to grab a hot cup of coffee and spend some quality time out of the storm. >> going home, nice and warm at home. >> reporter: going to build a fire? >> we have a fireplace. my house is very much into
building a fire on a day like this. >> reporter: she can count on snow the rest of the day. maybe a bit of a break tonight before it picks back up tomorrow. another round of low snow with levels along the highway 50 corridor possibly around 2,000 feet. and this sierra lifer is looking forward to it. >> we are. we are hoping the trees stay up where they belong. it will be fine. >> reporter: it's been a week's worth of wet weather, that's a mouthful, with the grand finale set to come tomorrow. >> that was nick janes reporting in el dorado county. >> we have even got some snow down here. >> we have a little bit of everything, kind of a hat trick, rain, sleet -- >> we call that smorgasbord, potpourri of weather around the bay area. it has been a wild day. the thunderstorms we have talked about. how about the snow? this in calistoga. yup, they got the plows out there clearing out the roadways because some pretty good snow is coming across some of the northern mountains especially and it looks like we could see more of that toward the afternoon. of course, the rain clouds have been pushing through the rest of the bay area and continue to
bring lots of rain into our skies beginning to just see the end of it at least turning more showery on the back side of it here. live look outside but yeah, doppler is picking that up rain and there is still plenty of clouds of it. it's coming down very heavy especially the middle of the morning. now things sliding a little further to the east. you can see on the back side here probably getting to the back of this comma that's been off the coastline pumping up the moisture getting things soaking wet around the bay area. still heavy rain in oakland, hayward, danville, concord getting pounded right now. southern parts of the bay area not as heavy but rain all the way down, los gatos, ben lomond, heavier rainfall across the mountain peaks. 1.5" of rain in san bruno and half moon bay. san anselmo almost the same. this is a good soaker. so more towards showers in the afternoon with the possibility of isolated thunderstorms. high surf advisory continuing along the coastline.
showers becoming more widely scattered overnight tonight. snow level running to about 2500 feet. here's that comma cloud i was talking about. we are on the back side as this thing pushes through things should settle down a little. wet through friday. on and off looking at showers. here's the system making its way through the bay area today. now we get on the back side, becoming more scattered showers as we head through the evening hours toward midnight but we are still left with a lot of cold air out there so yeah, the possibility of more isolated showers into friday. all right. temperatures are going to be cool as you might expect. 40s and 50s, that's all we can do for highs today. that's it, folks! going to keep things cool as we head toward the next couple days, things beginning to settle down. leftover couple of raindrops for tomorrow, maybe rain saturday morning and then we dry things out. in towards sunday, partly cloudy skies. but before we dry out for long, here comes another storm headed toward the bay area. could see a little soaking as we head in toward monday on presidents' day could last into tuesday, too. that's a look at weather, guys.
back to you. >> we'll be ready, lawrence. thanks very much. she suffered for years before she even knew she was sick. now one bay area woman is fighting back against a largely misunderstood disease that could anyone any one of us. here's kate kelly with this week's jefferson award. >> reporter: phyllis mervine spends a lot of time in the outdoors. she and her family moved to this 80-acre ranch in rural mendocino county in the 1970s. it wasn't long after that she started feeling sick. >> i just started feeling really run down and -- and extremely tired and achy. >> reporter: for 10 years, phyllis lived with debilitating symptoms. a neighbor at her weekly pottery class suggested she get tested for a newly discovered bacterial infection carried by ticks called lyme disease. >> she saw me dragging in week after week, said, phyllis, you ought to get testinged. >> reporter: phyllis did test positive and she quickly realized she wasn't alone. >> i called all the neighbors
and i said, you know, i have just been diagnosed with lyme disease. do you know anything about it? have you got lyme disease? or, you know, do you have any of these symptoms? quite a few people had lyme up here. >> reporter: that was the start of a 20-year journey that has made phyllis mervine one of the pioneers in fighting lyme disease in california. her ranch became ground zero for a community study, collecting ticks and helping identify the diseases they can carry. lyme-infected ticks have been documented in 42 california counties. and with numbers like those, phyllis saw a need. so in 1989, she founded calda, the california lyme disease association. >> it was desperately needed because it's a chronic disease and nobody was treating it except just a couple of doctors. >> i've got about 45 or so? in this group we have 1,115. >> reporter: in addition to support groups, her website
offers information and resources. calda also provides grants to doctors researching tick borne illnesses which can be crippling if not diagnosed early. >> this is not just somebody with a swollen knee or somebody who has a headache. this is draining our country. >> reporter: suzanne fratus is writing a book about lyme disease. >> she has educated doctors. she has gone to congress to the any. h. she has put out the newsletter. she started patient support groups. she went to nih. she has been involved in everything. >> reporter: while phyllis' own battle with the disease was helped by antibiotics she is not cured and much work needs to be done for protecting future generation. so for doing something to help educate and eliminate the effects of what can be a crippling disease, this week's jefferson award in the bay area goes to phyllis mervine. kate kelly, cbs 5. >> to learn more log on to cbssf.com, click on the cbs 5
hormones may have accidentally found a cure for baldness. scientists at ucla were investigating how stress affects mice. they treated the rodents with a compound that blocks stress in the gut. months later, though, the bald mice had regrown their fur and young mice who were given the treatment never went bald. scientists say there they are still years away from -- scientists say they are still years away from trying it out on humans. coming up at 5:00, the wet mess brought on my mother nature. >> and door-to-door sales are so last year. how some families are selling girl scout cookies faster than ever. those stories and more at 5:00. ready for girl scout cookies? >> i have had a few already back east. they're delish! that's it for the cbs 5 news at noon. >> and don't forget, you can always find the latest news and weather on cbssf.com. check it out especially with this bad storm in the bay area right now. >> hang in there, folks. have a great day. caption colorado, l.l.c.
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a great change is at hand and our task is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all. those who look only to the past or the present, are certain to miss the future. do not pray for easy lives. pray to be stronger men. ask not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your country. >> steffy: oh, mom, i'm so glad to be back in l.a. >> taylor: oh, i missed you so much. >> steffy: you're so tiny. jeez. (laughs) >> ridge: it's good to have you back, sweetheart. >> steffy: oh, it's good to be back, dad, really. >> thomas: it was getting pretty boring here without you.
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